It wouldn't be an outdoor game without snow setting the scene as fans made their way to Hamilton Ont., the site of the 2022 Heritage Classic.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres got a taste of what the elements would be like when they practised at Tim Hortons Field on Saturday. Most of the players couldn't help but think back to their childhood when they would go skate at their local outdoor rink.
Before the puck could even be dropped in either tilt, though, the scene in Hamilton was widely praised by those in attendance.
From those pre-puck drop moments and all through the contest, here are the can’t-miss sights and sounds from the NHL’s 2022 Outdoor Game.
Maple Leafs and Sabres get creative with Heritage Classic entrance
The Leafs and Sabres decided to take an unconventional approach to their pre-game attire given the unique nature of the event.
Gone were the traditional pre-game suits in exchange for construction gear and Flint Tropics attire?
Paying tribute to Hamilton's reputation as one of Canada's leading industrial centres as a main export for the country's iron and steel industry, Toronto wore construction uniforms and yes, the players made sure to have their safety goggles.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe said the decision to wear the construction gear was player driven and an ode to Stelco, a 100-year-old company based in Hamilton.
The Sabres decided to take a much different approach to their pre-game attire as they paid tribute to the Flint Tropics inspired by Will Ferrell film "Semi-Pro." Like the Leafs, the idea was player driven and according to head coach Don Granato, the team had to go back to the drawing board as their idea was used by another team.
This isn't the first time teams decided to get creative with their pre-game attire for an outdoor game.
The Tampa Bay Lightning arrived to the Stadium Series in a double-decker bus that was pulled by a tractor going with an all-denim "Canadian tuxedo" look. Nashville Predators wore jeans, black rock 'n' roll band T-shirts and custom-made leather jackets and trucker hats.
At the Winter Classic in Minnesota where the temperature was minus-8 degrees Fahrenheit the St. Louis Blues arrived wearing Hawaiian shirts and other beach attire.
Maple Leafs and Sabres take to the ice at a snowy Tim Hortons Field
The Leafs and Sabres needed to make sure they were warmed up for today's game as the forecast for today's game was At the Winter Classic was minus-2 degrees Celcius with snow blowing.
Canadian women's hockey team joins for the national anthem
Fresh off their win over Team USA in the "Rivalry Rematch," the Canadian Women’s hockey team took the main stage for the national anthem and were greeted with a nice reception from those in attendance.
Wayne Gretzky also addressed the fans in attendance as he paid tribute to his father Walter during the ceremonial faceoff.
Three goals in three minutes
Boy, that escalated quickly. After a scoreless opening frame, the pace picked up at the start of the second with the teams combining for three goals in the first three minutes. Ondrej Kase broke the ice for the Maple Leafs just 40 seconds into the period, but Peyton Krebs knotted it up 41 seconds later for the Sabres. The tie was short-lived with Auston Matthews putting Toronto back into the lead with his league-leading 45th goal of the season at the 2:57 mark. Phew.
That's a Dang-It
Vinnie Hinostroza added another equalizer with 9:07 remaining in the second to tie it 2-2 although this one was by accident. Hinostroza fired a pass into the slot and Maple Leafs defenceman T.J. Brodie redirect the puck with his skate right into his own net.
The Canadian women's hockey gold medal-winning team from the Beijing Winter Olympics was honoured during the second intermission. Canada defeated the U.S. 3-2 in last month's final with (who else?) Marie-Philip Poulin scoring the winning goal.
Sabres pull away
Hinostroza scored again 5:16 into the third period as the Sabres pulled ahead and then pulled away. Krebs added his second of the game then Tage Thompson fired into an empty net to make it 5-2.